Can Influencers Practice Thought Leadership?

Posted : April 27, 2021

Word Count: 2805 

( 8 Min )

influencer taking selfie

Can Influencers Practice Thought Leadership?

David Tile
David Tile, Founder & Director @
Posted On: April 27, 2021

Lately, our team has been recognizing something remarkable: The thought leadership spectrum is incredibly diverse. Through strategic content marketing, many professionals committed to their industry or niche have the potential to position themselves as experts in their industry. As we continue delving deeper, it seems thought leadership works for an expansive range of individuals, including influencers. We’ve realized that thought leadership could greatly enhance influencer marketing. 

As we work more and more on learning who thought leadership could benefit and what defines a thought leader in different industries, it’s clear that some influence would make excellent thought leaders. In fact, some are already practicing it by championing content and using their channels not just to promote themselves but to help people navigate their niche. It ultimately depends on the influencer’s goals and whether they want to do more than market themselves to gain fame. 

Let’s divulge a bit more into thought leadership and where it fits into influencer marketing.

Influencers vs. Influencer Marketing

In our Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Thought Leader, we highlighted the differences between a thought leader and an influencer. It’s important to note that for some influencers (definitely not all), becoming a famous name over Instagram and Youtube is easily accessible because they’ve already been in the spotlight in mainstream media.

Or, to put it bluntly, some influencers get big because they have access to luxuries that people want to get a taste of. By just showing off their amazing cars, house, makeup, clothes, and expensive lifestyle, influencers can easily build a platform with the sole goal of getting more and more followers (and the money that comes with them.) These influencers may be more focused on self-promotion and establishing their fame (think of TikTok celebs or Instagram stars who become big enough to be enlisted as reality tv stars, etc.) While there is no shame in what these people practice, they don’t qualify as thought leaders because they aren’t participating in influencer marketing. They haven’t invested much work or gained experience to make them an expert in a particular niche or industry. 


Here’s the thing: You can’t paint influencers with one brush. Some influencers treat their platform like a business that involves business partnerships, stakeholders, and followers. 

That’s where it helps to know the difference between being an influencer and participating in influencer marketing. The term brand ambassador often applies to these influencers who partner with companies or small businesses to spread their branding in an appealing, transparent way that will motivate their followers to take action.

Influencer marketing often focused on sharing information about specific topics or niches. Influencers will offer their channel as a resource to promote products or services, inform people of niche topics, provide insights on current events, share their personal stories to inspire their followers, and show off their unique knowledge, skills, and talents.

Sound a little familiar? 

male influencer

What Makes a Thought Leader? 

A thought leader is someone who has invested time and hard work into their industry. They possess a unique set of skills, talent, and knowledge that they’ve applied to climb the professional ladder into a leadership or executive position. However, they could also be innovative entrepreneurs who’ve developed a unique solution for consumers or workers in their field or small business owners with defined values implemented into their business strategy. A few things that these people have in common include:

  • Passion for their industry
  • Determination of their work
  • Unique insights on niche topics
  • Experiences that have helped them grown in their industry
  • Leadership qualities that have earned respect from fellow industry members, employees, stakeholders, and more within their network


Founders, CEOs, entrepreneurs, industry veterans come to mind when imagining who possesses these qualities. But in this modern world, these qualities also apply to those in influencer marketing who are sharing Youtube videos about skincare or Instagrammers sharing infographics about social issues. That’s why people leading influencer marketing could be excellent thought leaders. While they already have established social media campaigns, they can participate in a focused content marketing strategy that will establish and expand their platform to help them fulfill their ultimate goal: influence.

Thought Leadership in Influencer Marketing

There seems to be an intersection between influencer marketing goals and thought leadership. Marketers focused on B2B relationships, advertising, or using their voice to educate their followers on relevant topics have the potential to strengthen their platform as thought leaders. 

By practicing thought leadership, people in influencer marketing could build more credibility as a resource for their followers, earning them more business partnerships and higher profits. They can use their individual story as a vehicle to teach, motivate, and inspire followers, which will establish their role as a go-to expert beyond their social media platforms. 

Thought leadership in influencer marketing will help marketers earn more trust from business partners. They can achieve this by showing they know what they’re talking about through multiple social media channels, blog writing, and guest posting. Over these streams, influencers can elaborate on niche topics based on their unique expertise. They can use their content to engage their followers and expand their horizons to earn a broader audience. 

Better yet, businesses will want to align themselves with a thought leader who will also provide credibility and validate and promote their products and services to a large audience. A thought leader in influencer marketing will earn more followers, more partners, and more revenue. 

Establish and Expand Your Influencer Marketing With Our Thought Leadership Package

Are you involved in influencer marketing and want to establish yourself as a thought leader? 

Let our expert content strategists at Article-Writing help you develop a plan to grow your platform while showing off your unique skills as an influencer involved in a unique niche. We will learn what makes you stand out as an influencer to legitimize your platform and create content that will match your unique voice and show that you are a reliable resource for your followers. 

Learn more about how our content strategists and creators can help you expand your influencer marketing platform so you will make a more significant impact than ever before. 

Visit our Thought Leadership Package page and contact us today!

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